War & politics: Sept 11th, bin Laden, Middle East news, from my own perspective.
Each side in the "war on
terror" sees the other as the aggressor. This explains the odd symmetry
of the statements of Bush and Bin Laden. They both feel their
respective culture, society and civilisation is facing a genuine
Bin Laden must work as a revolutionary vanguard to agitate, mobilise and radicalise the masses, who have yet to understand their duty. The best way to do that is through propaganda: by word (television, cassettes etc) and by deed (spectacular and hopefully transformative attacks on symbolic targets).
No way will Bush bring economic regeneration to Afganistan there's no visible payback for such financial generosity. Iraq will be plundered rather than rebuilt. I've always said that education would be the only way out of this generational war as we get deeper and deeper into the beginning of the beginning. Hearts and minds aren't being won in Abu Ghraib they are being lost.
I don't see Kerry saying much that will be different. He's out to please the US voters, not the people of Iraq. We'll have to wait a long, long time before we get a US president who can see a way out, until, like this book says, an "all-out war that will involve razed cities and astronomic body counts on both sides." Then, we may grow up and realise that violence begetting violence isn't a solution.
It'll be 20 years before truth isn't censured from US TV screens, before the US electorate opens it's eyes. Just like the blindness that was Vietnam. Between then and now, the US is going to become increasingly isolated and increasingly bombastic. It's going to be a terrible 100 year war.